Private Thomas Burns


There is no more information on this painting other than it is of Private Thomas Burns, 14th Light Dragoons, India 1848. Another painting, in the collection of the Marquis of Cambridge, by the same artist, shows an unnamed sergeant who is without shako plume and has a white cover on the shako. The sergeant has a valise behind his saddle whereas Burns does not. Neither man has a shabraque on his horse. Burns would have survived the four month voyage to India in 1841 and the three month march from Kirkee to Amballa in 1845 which saw the deaths of 17 men and one officer, from Cholera.' It is not known how he fared in the charge at Ramnuggur, or the rest of the campaign. It is interesting that he was allowed to grow a beard in 1848, six years before the Crimean War.'


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by Stephen Luscombe